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Vancouver Airport Guide

vancouver airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Vancouver Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the name of the airport hotel in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

I would like to thank the staff of Vancouver Airport for the most beautiful, clean and comfortable airport I have ever been stuck at. - Bob and Paul

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at Vancouver International Airport.

What to Expect

  • A large, bright and modern international airport. The airport is made up of one large inter-connected terminal that is divided into 3 sections: Domestic, Transborder and Internation. You can transfer to all these sections through the airside area.
  • There are plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from. 24-hour dining is available!
  • The airport’s interior is warm and welcoming, with water features and lots of local, native artwork everywhere. Check out the airport’s aquariums. There are two of them!
  • WiFi is available. See WiFi information in the airport guide below.

Where to Sleep

  • Airside seating do not have armrests on every seat, so it is possible to stretch out.
  • Airside: The international area has the best seating options with a variety of options including: seats with foot stools and cushioned armrest free seating.
  • Landside: reviewers found comfortable spots to sleep in baggage claim (benches without armrests!), behind the American Airlines check-in desks and at the end of the WestJet terminal area. Some of these areas are a bit cold, so have a travel blanket handy. A travel mat or sleeping bag will add comfort to your overnight stay.
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there is a hotel connected to the airport and many nearby hotels. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

  • If you are transiting airside from the Domestic area to the US Transborder area, you will need to go through the International section. If you have a long connection, you may opt to stay here to relax, shop, eat and check out the water displays and aquarium before proceeding to the USA security area. Allow enough time to go through security.
  • Economy class passengers can pay to enter one of the airport’s first class lounge. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Vancouver Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.


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Vancouver Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Vancouver Airport does not appeal to you, there is a hotel inside the airport:

  • Inside Airport Fairmont Vancouver Airport - (10 minute walk from Domestic Terminal or 5 minute walk from within International Terminal) Located inside the International Terminal, above the USA departures desk. They offer drop-in access to the Health Club for $18 per person. Day use rooms available for rent in blocks of 4, 6, or 8 hours between the hours of 8:00AM and 8:00PM. Earplugs and eye masks are provided if required. » Check Rates
  • Pacific Gateway Hotel Vancouver Airport - (5 minutes from the airport) A new hotel open near the airport. Free 24-hour airport shuttle available daily, no reservation required. Shuttle picks up at both terminals. » Check Rates
  • Days Inn Vancouver Airport - (8 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates
  • Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport - (10 minutes from the airport) A free shuttle bus is available. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Vancouver Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Vancouver Airport.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • Airport Ambassadors - Steve tells us "Volunteers in green vest/jacket are located throughout the terminal and information counters airside. Staff in blue vest/jacket can be found at information counters landside and at customs hall."
  • Aquarium - There are two satellite Vancouver Aquarium exhibits: The main exhibit is a large 114,000-litre aquarium showcasing 850 indigenous sea animals, and the other is a smaller 1,800-litre jellyfish aquarium. Location: International Terminal, landside, Level 3 (main exhibit) and Level 4 (jellyfish exhibit).
  • ATMs / Cash Machines - Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations:  International Arrivals (next to ICE currency exchange) • International Departure (next to ICE currency exchange) • Domestic Arrivals (next to Tim Hortons) • Domestic Level 1 (at 7-11, Scotiabank - the only one at the airport).
  • Baby Care Facilities - Cribs, playpens and a changing area are available in the Nursery. Location: US Terminal, landside, Level 3, next to the restrooms.
  • Banking Services - A full-service Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is available. Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 3. Hours: 9:00AM - 4:30PM (Mon-Fri).
  • Car Rentals - Yes, see our Airport Transportation section below.
  • Chapel - Gather your thoughts in peace at the interfaith chapel. Location: International Terminal, landside, Arrivals Level 2.
  • Children's Play Area - Location: Domestic Terminal Food Court (landside) • Domestic Terminal Gates 3 and 43 (airside) • International Terminal - Gate 54 (airside) • Domestic Terminal, Departures Level 3, Gate 13 (airside)
  • Currency Exchange - International Currency Exchange (ICE) offices are located:
    » Domestic Terminal: landside (Level 3) and airside (Gate B17)
    » US Terminal: landside (Level 3) and airside (Level 3 and Gate E86)
    » International Terminal: landside (Levels 2 and 3*) and airside (Level 2 and Gate D53) Hours: Hours vary per location. *The International terminal (Level 3) location is open 24 hours.
  • Dental Services - Check-ups, cleanings and a full range of preventative and emergency dental services are available at the Vancouver Airport Dental Centre! Location: Domestic, landside, Level 1. Hours: 8:00AM - 6:00PM (Mon-Fri), 9:00AM -4:30PM (Sat).
  • Dry Cleaners - Airport Fabricare Cleaners offers same day service if you need a quick alteration. Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1. Hours: 7:00AM - 6:00PM (Mon-Fri), 9:00AM - 5:00PM (Sun).
  • Duty Free & Shopping - A variety of duty-free shops are available airside on Level 3 (US and International terminals), in the D gates area (International terminal) and Gate E85 (US terminal). Note: the location on Level 3, International Terminal is open 24 hours. The only other shop which is open 24 hours is a Connoisseur Collection (Duty Free) which sells rare whiskeys and cognacs. Location: International Terminal, Airside, across from Gate 70.
  • Food & Drinks - Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
    » Domestic Terminal, landside, Level 3: Subway • Tim Horton’s
    » Domestic Terminal, landside, Level 1: 7-11
    » International Terminal, landside, Level 3: Starbucks • Wendy’s
    » International Terminal, airside: Hudson News Euro Cafe (Gate D66)
  • Information Desks - There are 12 customer care counters throughout the airport, with representatives available 24 hours a day. Also look for the Green Coat Volunteers for help. SleepingInAirports reader Steve sent us some information regarding the information desks:
    » US Terminal: Departure Level 3 (Landside, next to CBSA NEXUS office) • Departure Level 3 (Landside, before Gate E security screening) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after US CBP).
    » International Terminal: Departure Level 3 (Landside, above arrivals) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after security screening) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after duty free) • Arrivals (Airside, inside Customs Hall) • Arrivals (Landside, greeters hall)
    » Domestic Terminal: Arrivals Level 2 (Landside, outside of carousel 4) • Departure Level 3 (Landside, next to the food court) • Departure Level 3 - LINK (Landside, next to Air Canada check-in counters) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after Gate C security) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, after security Gate A to the right) • Departure Level 3 (Airside, before Monk's Grill).
  • Luggage & Shoe Repair - Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1 Hours: 9:00AM - 6:00PM (Mon-Fri), 12:00AM - 6:00PM (Sat), Closed Sunday.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - Store your stuff at CDS Baggage Services. Short and long term services available for $5 - $8.50 per item. Located landside on Level 2 in both International and Domestic terminals. Hours: 7:00AM - 1:00AM (Intl) or 5:00AM - 11:00PM (Domestic).
  • Luggage Wrapping - Priority Baggage provides baggage wrapping services, bike box purchases and other packing/shipping supplies. Location: International Termina, landside, Level 3. Hours: 8:30AM - 8:00PM.
  • Medical Clinic - Travel medicine, podiatry, acute pain management and more, available at Vancouver Airport Medical Clinic. Walk-ins welcome! Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1. Hours: 8:00AM - 5:00PM (Mon-Fri), Closed on weekends.
  • Mobile Charging - Mobile charging stations are available near the seats at the gates throughout the airport.
  • Observation Area - Watch the activity on the tarmac at the airport's observation area. There are telescopes, interactive kiosks and an interactive model of Sea Island. Location: Domestic Terminal, Level 4 (Landside). Rate: Free.
  • Pharmacy - Pharmasave is conveniently located next to the airport medical clinic. Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1. Hours: 8:00AM - 6:00PM (Mon-Fri) Closed weekends and holidays.
  • Postal Services - There is a Canada Post branch inside of the 7-11 convenience store. Location: Domestic terminal, landside, Level 1. Hours: 7:00AM - 8:00PM (Mon-Fri), 10:00AM - 5:00PM (Sat), 12:00PM - 4:00PM (Sun).
  • Quiet Zone - A quiet zone is equipped with comfy seating, a stretching mat, low-volume speakers and soft lighting. Signage asks all visitors in this area to remain quiet. Location: International Terminal, Airside, Gate D67.
  • Rest Zones - While the airport has no designated rest zones, there are numerous areas in the International Departures Area that have sleep friendly seating. You will find either lounge style seats near the windows or cushioned block style furniture that are often covered with airport sleepers.
  • Showers - Airside - Plaza Premium Lounges (International and Domestic Terminals). Landside - The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel offers drop-in access to the Health Club, saunas and showers for $18 per person.
  • Spa - Manicures, facials, massages and other beauty services are available at Absolute Spa. Hours: Hours vary per location, but most stay open until 7:00PM. Here are the four locations:
    » Domestic Terminal: landside (Level 1) and airside (Gate C47)
    » US Terminal: landside (Level 4 - at Fairmont Hotel) and airside (Gate E85)

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

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Layover Sightseeing

Do you have a long layover? With the proper documentation and a long enough layover, you may have time to leave the airport and do some sightseeing. Here are a few Vancouver Airport Layover Sightseeing ideas. As this is a new page, if you have a suggestion for other layover sightseeing options, send a tip to editor@sleepinginairports.com and we will add it to the list.

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Airlines

As of March 2018, Vancouver airport is served by the following airlines: Aeromexico • Air Canada • Air China • Air France • Air New Zealand • Air North • Air Transat • Alaska Airlines • American Airlines • ANA • Beijing Capital Airlines • British Airways • Cathay Pacific • Central Mountain Air • China Airlines • China Eastern • China Southern • Condor • Delta • Edelweiss Air • Eva Airways • Flair Airlines • Harbour Air • Hawkair • Helijet Airways • Hong Kong Airlines • Horizon Air • Icelandair • Island Express • Japan Airlines • KD Air • KLM • Korean Air • Lufthansa • Orca Airways • Pacific Coastal Airlines • Philippine Airlines • Qantas • Salt Spring Air • Seair Seaplanes • Sichuan Airlines • Sunwing • Tofino Air • United Airlines • West Coast Air • WestJet • Xiamen Airlines.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Bus

The airport is well connected to the bus system should you need to reach Whistler and beyond. The YVR Whistler Sky Linx connects to Whistler, Downtown Vancouver, Squamish and surrounding areas. For fares, routes and schedules, visit the Pacific Coach website.

Car Rentals

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar/Thrifty, Hertz, National and zipcar operate onsite on the ground floor of the parkade. Enterprise, Discount and Routes have a nearby offsite location, accessible by free shuttle bus.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport transportation service as a courtesy to their guests. The hotels shuttle stops are located at the green canopy outside of the International Terminal (Arrivals Level 2) and Domestic Terminal (Arrivals Level 1). Hotel shuttle pick-up can be requested via direct-dial courtesy phone, available on Arrivals Level 2 of both International and Domestic terminals, or at the shuttle bus stops.

The following hotels provide airport shuttle service: Accent Inn Vancouver Airport   •  Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn   •  Coast Vancouver Airport   •  Days Inn - Vancouver Airport   •  Executive Airport Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre Richmond   •  Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport   •  Hampton Inn by Hilton Vancouver Airport   •  Hilton Vancouver Airport   •  La Quinta Inn Vancouver Airport   •  Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport   •  Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport   •  Quality Hotel Airport (South)   •  Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel   •  Vancouver Airport Marriott   •  Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport.

Inter-Terminal Shuttle

The airport offers a free shuttle service between the South Terminal, a regional general aviation hub, and the International and Domestic Terminals. South Terminal Shuttle stops are located in front of the South Terminal, at International Terminal (Arrivals Level 2, bus bay 3) and Domestic Terminal (Arrivals Level 2).

Taxi

Licensed taxis are readily available from taxi stands located on Level 2 of the Domestic and International Terminals’ Arrivals Area. Zone fares apply to rides from the airport to destinations within the zoned areas in Vancouver. Metered rates apply to journeys from the city to the airport.

Train

The Canada Line is a rapid transit commuter rail service that runs between the airport and the city centers, reaching central Richmond in 18 minutes and central Vancouver in just 26 minutes. The Canada Line train platform is located between the International and Domestic Terminals. For information on fares, schedules, routes and mass transit connections, visit the Canada Line website.

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Airport Sleeper Policy

As of January 2012, there have been reports that security is now checking airport sleepers throughout the night. Please have your ID, e-ticket and a good reason as to why you are not in a hotel!

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Last Updated: 14 November 2017

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please contact us .